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Goethals News Bulletin
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. VIII No. 1 January - March 2005

News Update | Articles | Researchers | New Arrivals | Mails & Emails

News Update

Brahmabandhab Upadhyay
On the occasion of the death centenary of Swami Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, a web page has been created, containing photos and a list of related books and documents on and by him. This page can be viewed on the Goethals website. The URL is given below: www.goethals.org.

Exhibition at Goethals
The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society hosted an exhibition on "Old Calcutta & Bengal", a special section on "Brahmabandhab Upadhyay was appreciated by all who attended. A number of books, documents and the ‘Time-line’ on the life and works of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay were placed on display.

February has seen a series of lectures by Fr. Felix Raj. He spoke on "Ethics in Development" at the YMWA symposium at the New Horizons School auditorium on Feb. 11. He presented a keynote paper on "Disinvestment and Unemployment in India" on Feb. 19 at the Silver Jubilee Annual Conference of the Bengal Economic Association at St. Paul’s College. Again on Feb 26, he addresses the students of economics at St. Xavier’s on "Values in Development". He has been invited to speak on the Budget 2005-06 at the Merchant Chamber of Commerce on March 3.


by Fr. Felix Raj, SJ

  1. Liberazione e Participazione – Ripensare percorsi di crescita per il terzo mondo, Orientamenti, No. 3, pp 44-57, Milan

  2. "Disinvestment and Unemployment in India", Artha Beekshan, Journal of Bengal Economic Association, Silver Jubilee Conference Number, Vol. 13, No. 3, December 2004, Kolkata, pp. 48-72.

Goethals Symposium - January 2006
The Goethals Indian Library and Research Society will be organising a Symposium on "The Christian Contribution in Bengal", in the month of January 2006. Visit the website: (www.goethals.org) for further details. All are welcome to participate and present papers. The selected research papers will be published in "The Goethals Journal" an Annual publication of the library.

Death Centenary Celebration
The Centenary of the death of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay will be celebrated from November 2006 to November 2007, in Kolkata and in other parts of India. A number of meetings have been held in Kolkata in connection with the centenary celebration. The Goethals library hosted an exhibition in the last week of February, and a section was devoted to the collected works and materials related to Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, as part of the death centenary celebration.


Researchers at Goethals

Abhisek Banerjee, Xaverian: research for a Bengali journal.

Abhyuday Khaitan, Ex-Xaverian: Flora, Fauna and the Zoological gardens of Calcutta.

Arpan Krishna Deb, Xaverian: history of the Bengali Literary Society SXC.

Ashrvari Majumdar Khaitan, University of Delhi: Calcutta Zoological Gardens and the British Empire in India.

Biswajyoti Dasgupta, Ex-Xaverian: St. Xavier’s magazines research.

Dick De Jong, Amsterdam: The Dutch in Bengal.

Miltiades A. Spyrou, Greece: Travels on the river Ganges, Greeks in Calcutta.

Nandan Bhattacharya, Kolkata: Writings of C. F. Andrews, Modern Review.

Nicholas Gervase Rhodes, Kolkata: S. W. Laden La at St. Xavier’s College, 1930.

Trambak Bhattacharyya, Xaverian: history of the Bengali Literary Society, St. Xavier’s College.


Biography: Brahmabandhab Upadhyay

Brahmabandhab Upadhyay (1861-1907) was described by Rabindranath Tagore as a ‘Roman Catholic ascetic yet a Vedantin - spirited, fearless, self-denying, learned and uncommonly influential’. Born a Brahmin, he typified the new Bengali middle-class: educated, upper caste and Hindu. Yet his conversion to Roman Catholicism and his revolutionary ideas for merging Christian doctrines with an ‘Indian’ idiom marked him out as exceptional. He was an ardent nationalist who died while under arrest for sedition in 1907.

Christian and Hindu, holy man and savant, prophet and revolutionary, Upadhyay was a paradoxical figure who played a key role in the struggle for independence, alongside Vivekananda, Tagore, Aurobindo Ghose and others. His fiery convictions and passionate rhetoric won him many admirers and branded him a dangerous revolutionary in the eyes of the British colonial establishment.

Upadhyay is in many ways the forgotten colossus of India’s search for nationhood and modernity.

Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: The life and Thought of a Revolutionary by Julius J Lipner. OUP. Delhi. 1999. Book No: 6B/306.


Brahmabandhab Upadhyay: Collection at Goethals : 2005

  1. Sophia, June-Dec 1900 (2 copies-bound)

  2. Sophia – A monthly Catholic Journal, Jan-Dec 1894 (Vol. I)

  3. Sophia – A monthly Catholic Journal, Jan-Oct 1895 (Vol II)

  4. Sophia – A monthly Catholic Journal, Vol. II-IV (1895-1897)

  5. Sophia – A monthly Catholic Journal, (2 bound copies) Vol. 5 (1898)

  6. Sophia – Vol. 6 (1899)

  7. Religious Views of Swami Brahmabandhav Upadhyaya: The first Indian Christian Theologian by Anil Mitra, SJ. 1970. St. Mary’s College, Darjeeling. (6B/407)

  8. The Twentieth Century Vol. I (Jan-Dec. 1901). Editors: N Gupta and Brahmabandhab Upadhya.

  9. Brahmabandhab Upadhyay, The life and thought of a Revolutionary by Julius J Lipner, OUP. Delhi. 1999 (6B/306)

  10. Writings of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by Julius Lipner & George Gispert-Sauch, United Theological College, Bangalore. 2002. 2 volumes. 30B/257(1), (2)

  11. ‘Sanibarer Chiti’ (1961-64). 3 articles about Brahmabandhav Upadhyay in Bengali.

  12. Jote. Vol. 51. January 1947. No. 1

  13. *An Indian Ashram: The Boys’ Own Home (Founded by Animananda) 1924. (38DB/114)

  14. Upadhyaya Brahmabandhav: The political years by C Fonseca, SJ (6B/191).

  15. Panchadasi – text, translation, commentary by B. Upadhyay.

  16. Samaj (Bengali) by Brahmabandhab Upadhyay. (6B/122).

  17. Blade: Life and work of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay by B. Animananda. Roy & Son. Calcutta. 1949 [511-UB-731a(A)] 2 copies.

  18. Swami Upadhyay Brahmabandhav: A story of His life by B. Animananda. 1908? (6B/124)

  19. Infinite and the Finite by Upadhyaya Brahmabandhav: 3rd Edition 1918.

  20. A Teacher of Genius B Animananda by P Turmes, SJ (2 copies). (6B/130). Xavier Publications. Calcutta. 1963.

  21. Short Treatise on the Existence of God by B C Banerji (Upadhyay Brahmabandhav), Karachi, 1893. (32H/2).

  22. *Upadhyay Brahmabandhav- Miscellaneous articles by and on Upadhyay Brahmabandhav, in 5 volumes Titled Varia 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Languages: English & Bengali.

  23. An Indian Nation Builder by Animananda (A biography on Brahmabandhav Upadhyay) revised in 1946. Rewachand Gyanchand (Animananda) was the pupil of Brahmabandhav Upadhyay. (6B/123).

  24. Transcription of an Autographed letter of Brahmabandhab Upadhyay to Fr. Billard and Lacombe, dated 10 Feb. 1898. (Xerox copy only).

  25. Six large Folios (Preserved-Laminated and Encapsulated documents) containing articles, correspondence and writings by and pertaining to Brahmabandhab Upadhyay and Animananda.

  26. Time line of the life of Brahmabandhav Upadhyay (encapsulated) by Timothy C Tennent. University of Edinburgh. 1997.


The Pitt Diamond and the Eyes of Jagannath (Puri)
By Rev. H Hosten, SJ.

On reading Colonel H. Yule’s account of the famous Pitt Diamond, I was reminded of certain texts which escaped his researches and seem to dispose of some of the damaging stories related about Pitt.

The Pitt Diamond, or the Regent, was sold by Governor Pitt in 1717 to the Regent Duke of Orleans for 2,000,000 livres, and was estimated in 1886 to be worth 12,000,000 francs. According to Pitt’s own solemn declaration (1710) it was bought by him at Madras about February 1702 for 48,000 pagodas, or about £24,000. It weighed then 426 carats, as against 136 13/16 carats according to the French inventory of the royal jewels in 1792. Where Jaurchand, the jeweller, had obtained it, he does not tell us.

As soon as the diamond was placed on the market, reports were current that Pitt had obtained it in some dishonourable manner. It was asserted for instance that it had come from the mines of Parkat, 45 leagues south of Golkonda, where it had been found by a slave, who in order to hide it, wounded himself in the thigh, and hid the stone beneath the bandage. He at Length acknowledged this to a sailor, and promised him the stone, if only he would secure him his freedom. The sailor enticed the slave on board, took from him the diamond, and then threw the slave into the sea. The murderer sold the diamond to Pitt for £1,000, spent the money quickly in excesses of all kinds and eventually from a murderer became a suicide."

- From the Journal and Proceedings, Asiatic Society of Bengal. (New Series). Vol VIII, No. 4, 1912.


Historic Houses and Famous Localities

The road from Lall Bazar to Mangoe Lane, called Mission Row, was formerly named the Rope Walk, and was the scene of hard fighting at the time of the siege of Calcutta in 1756. Two houses in this street have been distinguished by tablets. No. 8, was the house of General Sir John Clavering, colleague of Hastings and Francis in Council and he died there on August 30th, 1777. No. 1, was the residence of Colonel the Hon’ble George Monson, Francis’ second faithful supporter, who died at Hooghly in 1776. The street derives its present name from the old Mission Church, established by John Zachariah Kiernander in 1770. The house at the corner of Mission Row and Lall Bazar stands on the site of what was the play house of the settlement, in days before the Black Hole. The eastern side of Dalhousie Square did not then exist and the ‘Rope Walk’ formed the boundary of the great Tank in that direction. A few doors from the play house was the residence of Lady Russell, widow of Sir Francis Russell, sixth baronet of Chippenham in the county of Cambridge, who was a member of Council at Fort William in 1731 and succeeded to the title in 1738. After her husband’s death at Calcutta in 1743, she appears to have married a merchant of the name of Thomas Holmes in the following year: but to have retained her former style. We find her among the refugees at Fulta after Seraj-ud-Dowlah’s capture of the settlement, and she must have died there, for her will, dated August 24th, 1756, was proved in the Mayor’s Court in 1757. The family was closely connected with Oliver Cromwell, whose favourite daughter Frances was the grandmother of Sir Francis Russell and mother of John Russell, Governor of Fort William from 1711 to 1713.

The name of Mangoe Lane tells its own tale. The street is plainly shown in Wills’ map of 1753, running in winding fashion (as it still does) from the Rope Walk to Bentinck Street. At No. 25, where Messrs. Lyall Marshall & Co., now have their office, and Messrs. Carlisles Nephews and Co., preceded them in the seventies, was formerly located the great banking firm of Barretto & Co., which failed in 1827. The house was one of the few that had a treasure vault. Barretto’s Lane which commences at No. 4, Mangoe Lane and connects with British Indian Street, commemorates one of the merchant princes of the firm. Joseph Barretto, who died in 1824, was not only a man of large wealth, but could in addition lay claim to being a good Persian scholar. He largely helped in the erection of the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Moorghihatta of which the foundation was laid in 1797: and a tablet under the portico of the grand entrance perpetuates the memory of his munificence. The Portuguese cemetery at Boytaconnah, just beyond Sealdah Railway Station, was also purchased by him for eight thousand rupees and presented as ‘an asylum for departed Roman Catholics’ in the year 1785. Another member of the family, John Barretto, who died towards the close of the forties, bequeathed no less than five lakhs of rupees for distribution among various religious and charitable institutions. The family is one of ancient Portuguese origin: a Barretto was Viceroy in 1558 of the Portuguese possessions in India. In the maps of 1792 and 1794, the street is called Cross Street; and Barretto’s Lane appears as the name given to what is now a disused private lane leading through No. 39, Strand Road, while Armenian Ghat which is close by, is named Barretto’s Ghat. There is a Cross Street in modern Calcutta but it is in the Burra Bazar.

- ‘Calcutta Old and New" by H E A Cotton. General Printers and Publishers, Calcutta, 1980. pp 276-277. Book No. 9C/128.


Goethals Archives

Sir Jagadish Bose An Ex-Xaverian
The Town Hall of Calcutta was packed to suffocation, the Governor of Bengal, presiding, and a scientist was delivering a fascinating speech with a queer-looking instrument on the table in front of him. Suddenly a pistol cracked and a little heap of gunpowder on the table was blown away. A spark from the instrument switched off to a distance of 75 feet had resulted in the same cracking elsewhere. Thus the foundation of wireless was first laid by a young scientist of Bengal. That scientist was Sir J C Bose, who, we are proud to declare, was a student of our College and had imbibed his great love for Science from the famous Rev. Fr. E. Lafont, SJ.

Born of middle-class parents in 1858, Sir Jagadish received a sound education. His father’s life had been a failure; but his mother, a noble type of woman, kept Jagadish throughout life true to her teaching. He matriculated in the first division in 1875 and graduated in Physics from St. Xavier’s college in 1880. The pecuniary troubles of his father urged young Bose to try for the Civil Service. But his inner feelings called him elsewhere. He joined the Cambridge University taking a special interest in Physics, Chemistry and Botany. In Cambridge he came in contact with eminent professors like Sir Michael Foster, Lord and Sir Francis Darwin. He came home after four years having obtained the Cambridge Tripos and the London B.Sc. at the same time.

- From "Saint Xavier’s Magazine". January 1938. Vol. VI. No. 2 pp 94-95.


Mails & Emails

I enjoy your newsletters and benefit from them greatly. Fr. Joe Saldanha, SJ.

I am writing to enquire about possibly viewing some periodicals that are listed in your library catalogue online. The periodicals in question are: Calcutta Review 1848-1960 Any information will be most appreciated. Edward Murphy, Bradford University, England.


Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: goethals@vsnl.com  Web-site: www.goethals.in 
Director: Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Library Asst: Mr. Warren Brown; Computer Asst: Mr. Sunil Mondol



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